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Partners Group closes on €282m for global mezz

Swiss fund manager Partners Group has closed its fourth fund in the last three months, raising €282m for investing in global mezzanine funds and direct mezzanine investments in private equity transactions.

Partners Group, a Swiss-based alternative asset manager, has capped a busy first half for fundraising with the close of Partners Group Global Mezzanine 2005 on €282 million ($353 million).

The fund, which will invest in global mezzanine funds as well in direct mezzanine tranches of private equity sponsored deals, had an original target of €250 million when marketing began approximately nine months ago.

Partners Group Global Mezzanines 2005 will target approximately 70 percent of its allocation to global mezzanine funds and 30 percent to direct mezzanine investments.

Urs Wietlisbach, partner and founder at Partners Group, said that the fund has already invested €112 million in funds and €43 million in direct mezzanine investments, or approximately 55 percent of commitments.

The majority of commitments came from European investors, in particular German banks and insurance groups, said Wietlisbach. No placement agent was used for the fundraising.

Wietlisbach added that Partners Group Global Mezzanine 2005 is differentiated from Partners Group European Mezzanine 2005, which closed on €265 million in May: “We now have two mezzanine products in the market, but the new fund is a global mezzanine product and partially invests in funds, while the European mezzanine fund will just focus on Europe and direct mezzanine tranches.”

Partners Group, which floated on the Swiss stock exchange in March this year, currently has almost SFr14 billion in assets under management, of which private equity accounts for approximately SFr10 billion (€6.4 billion). In June, the firm held a €279 million final closing of Partners Group European Buyout 2005, one month after raising $375 million for its Asian fund of funds.

Partners Group joins a number of firms to have closed mezzanine funds in recent months. Earlier this month, Babson Capital Europe raised €800 million for its first dedicated European mezzanine fund, while The Carlyle Group closed the first fund from its mezzanine arm, Carlyle Mezzanine Partners, on $436 million in May. The Blackstone Group closed its second mezzanine fund, Blackstone Mezzanine Partners II, at $1.06 billion the same month.